The birth of strategy in motion occurred in the late 20th century when Margot was invited by David Judd, plant manager of Portland Aluminium Smelter, at the time the largest aluminium smelter in the Southern Hemisphere, to lead a leadership development expedition through the center of Australia. Margot and the 14 men of the Portland Leadership team floated in aluminium dinghies from Innaminka in heart of Australia into Lake Eyre. A journey that had never been done before and took 14 days.
Prior to Margot’s involvement Portland was plagued with problems, including:
Margot had visited the site several times before the Coopers Creek expedition and worked individually and as a group with the leadership team. This work was to raise their level of adult brain development, remove (unconscious) personal blocks to success and teach the leaders new communication styles.
At Coopers Creek the leaders meditated daily, built their relationship (with the assistance of a telling 360o feedback survey), shared their dreams for the future and opened to the wonders of living in the wild.
After their return to the plant the leaders put a similar (but scaled down process) through the entire plant. This process was entirely leader led which meant it was completely owned by the leaership team.
Portland Aluminium Smelter was named the world bench mark culture for an aluminium smleter.
They also won prizes for their care of the natural environment around the smelter.
Women were brought onto the executive team.
David Judd was the first Australian named as an Unsung Hero of Industry, by Industry week.
In David’s own words…
“Individual and collective fear of change … takes many forms. Fear of losing jobs, of losing status of risking career prospects. Fear of rebuke from superiors for making a mistake. Fear of ridicule from peers for making an off-the-wall suggestion for improvement. Fear of allowing subordinates to grow in case they should excel and displace those above them. Fear of delegation in case it leads to unsatisfactory work and subsequent retribution.”
“(At Portland) we are thriving in an environment that supplants the fear of failure with the joy of success.”” (Preface to Peaceful Chaos the Art of Leadership in Times of Rapid Change)
The leaders of Portland created a dream of their future and then created it.
They grew so comfortable with each other they stated that they preferred to be with their colleagues than with their friends. They grew their success and had fun doing so.
Strategy in motion was then applied to companies around the world achieving global IPOs, massive corporate turn arounds, sales, mergers and demergers, building teams, supporting leaders to create and achieve robust strategies that were flexible enough to capitalize on the environment as it change.
“It’s not the strongest of the species that survive. It’s the most responsive.”
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